Balancing Brain Games, Technology and Life

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I LOVE my Smartphone!  I was resistant to get one, probably one of the last of my peer group (although still have some awesome friends with ‘dumb’ phones – good for you, no really! Read on.). 

What I first loved about my smartphone is the efficiency of time.  I can delete unwanted emails while waiting for a child to finish practice or an appointment, etc.  I like being productive in a time which would otherwise be just held captive in ‘wait’ mode. 

Then my kids got me on to these very cool brain games using words.  PERFECT!  I love words, I love sharpening my thinking skills with a good critical thinking or speed timed challenge.  HOWEVER, I have also found that there is a danger lurking in these innocent looking activities:  they are TIME STEALERS. 

I would be waiting to pick up a child and then think, “I’ll play just one more.” Then inevitably I would be playing the game when the boy(s) were getting in the car, rather than directly connecting with my son.  By the time I finished he would be so frustrated or disappointed that he didn’t want to share what was first on his mind.  I was putting the game before my son. Ouch, that hurts to see it, but confession is good for the soul (James 5:16)!

So my warning to you is to remember the discipline of self-control.  Two minutes is not so harmful until it turns into 10 games times 2 minutes times multiple times a day! The creep goes from a healthy balance to infringing upon work/household responsibilities to impacting the time you interact with important people in your life: ultimately damaging your productivity and relationships.  A sinking ship, if let unchecked.

For those struggling with an addiction to technology games my suggestion: turn it off!  Now, go to the closet or bookshelf and dust off the good old fashioned board games and have a great time attempting to beat your friend or spouse or kid(s) at a game of monopoly.

I announced yesterday, after another humbling round of chess with my teenager, how proud I was that his strategy and skill level had surpassed mine!  It was wonderful for us to have face to face interaction while I was given the blessing to see just how sharp his strategic and critical thinking skills have become, and….okay….just how far mine need to come!  So another game of chess it will be, this time to help mom improve her thinking skills and to enjoy another time with my guy. 

Yes, instead of going to the technology for a brain game, I am putting away the phone and replacing it with a growing relationship with one, or all, of my men!

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1 King James Version)

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